The irruption of the Internet in our lives has revolutionized the communicate way. Applications of instant messaging, social networks and email are just some of the utilities that are part of our day to day.
On a professional level, the boom in online business makes it possible to have customers anywhere in the world. The handicap is that people do not usually trust what we do not see, that’s why video conferences are the best tool to break that mental barrier.
Until now, everyone used Skype. However, very interesting alternatives have emerged to the well-known Microsoft platform.
In addition, online training is fashionable. Webinars, classes, and courses are the order of the day. For this task, you usually use specific platforms, see WebinarJam.
What would you think if I told you that there is a tool with which you can make video calls, webinars, and video conferences?
That platform exists and its name is Zoom.
What is Zoom?
Zoom is a platform that allows to videoconference, chat and imparts webinars quickly and easily. With this tool, you can make video calls and arrange meetings and interviews with your customers, students, and friends.
It is a very powerful tool with which you will gain the trust of potential clients, you will be able to interview references of your sector and give support to the students of your course or membership platform.
Zoom is the application that uses, for example, Omar de la Fuente for his interviews with cracks. In fact, I met her thanks to him in a post in which he talked about selling services over the Internet.
Other industry leaders such as Miquel Baixas have used it for the recent launch of its New Business School. Its integration with Facebook Live is one of its greatest advantages over its competition.
Its versatility makes it a multipurpose tool for all Internet professionals. Complete the ballot for launch, an interview section, a sales session… And whatever it takes.
As you can imagine from what I am telling you, the functionalities of Zoom are many and very useful. From making a simple video call or sharing your screen, to changing the background behind you or using a virtual whiteboard.
Schedule a Meeting
This functionality allows us to create a meeting and leave it on standby until it is time to celebrate it. Give it a title, a day and an hour. You can create a reminder and send the link to the rest of the participants.
Record the meeting
You can record the meeting in case you want to re-visualize it or send it to all the people who are present or who have signed up for the session. By default, it is saved on your computer. In the payment plans, you have the option to store it also in the cloud.
A really interesting functionality. It allows you to show the rest of the participants what appears on your screen. In addition, you can choose which program is displayed from all the ones you have open. For example, the browser. You can choose if only one person can share at the same time or several and if only the host or everyone can share.
Related to the above, you can enable a blank whiteboard to write or draw what you deem appropriate. Very useful to reinforce an explanation. Its functions are also available when you share the screen.
The key element in any online meeting between several people, especially in webinars or classes. In this type of videoconference, there is usually one or several speakers, so it is good to involve the listeners and can intervene through a chat. You can choose if you want the participants to chat privately or that all their interventions are public.
Side by Side Mode
This option shows the shared screen and the video of your webcam at the same time. In this way, you can teach to do something without being lost sight of.
Management of the Participants
Zoom has fairly complete management of the participants. From enabling and disabling the audio and video to host any of them. You can also have your video shown permanently to intervene, chat with or expel from the meeting.
The curious utility that allows the user to place a digital image behind you. It is not necessary to use a chroma for it, but it is recommended that what you have behind is a uniform color, like a wall.
This functionality is used by some bloggers to conduct interviews since the split-screen appears and at the bottom and top you can add an image previously created with your name (or your project), the interviewee and your URL.
You can link Zoom with calendar apps like Google Calendar, Outlook, Exchange. In this way, you will receive notifications of your next meetings and improve your organization and productivity.
Live broadcast on Facebook Live and YouTube
This is an extremely interesting premium feature. The direct ones in social networks are fashionable. And it is not a chance and it is that we want to know the people behind each project.
Zoom makes it possible to stream on Facebook and YouTube directly from its interface. Simply choose the option in your tool panel.
To access it, you have to contract the webinars or one of the payment plans plus the “web video seminars” supplement.
Plans and Prices of Zoom App
Zoom, like a multitude of tools nowadays, works under the freemium model.
This means that there is a basic option of the tool that you can try for free. If you want to have added features or more power (in this case, more meeting time), you have to hire one of the paid versions.
There are a total of 4 pricing plans:
- Basic: this is the free version. Includes video conferencing with up to 100 participants, unlimited video calls (meetings 1 to 1) and all the features we have discussed except streaming. Its main drawback is that group meetings are limited to 40 minutes.
- Pro: the most reasonable option if you are going to use Zoom as support for your online courses or to give webinars. It includes all the options of the Basic plan, greater control over the users, reports, personalized ID, recording in the cloud and unlimited duration of all the meetings. It has a very competitive price of $14.99 per month.
- Business: the plan aimed at small businesses. Includes all the above plus exclusive telephone support, personalized meeting URL, insertion of the company’s brand, administrative board, and personalized emails. It requires a minimum of 10 hosts, so its price would be $19.99 per month for a total of 10 hosts = $199.90 per month.
- Enterprise: designed for large companies. The number of participants increases to 200. Its main advantages are unlimited storage in the cloud and a Zoom manager dedicated to business success. It requires a minimum of 100 hosts, so its price skyrockets to $999.5 per month.
In all payment plans, you can request an increase in the number of participants up to a maximum of 500. This extra can be contracted annually or only during the month (or months) that you will have more influx of participants.
You can also request other extras such as webinars, unlimited storage in the cloud or separate meeting rooms (Zoom Rooms).
In short, if you have a sole proprietorship or you are a small company you can start by trying the free version and then move on to the Pro plan, which has no limits of use. If at some point you need to broadcast on Facebook Live or host more participants, you contract the corresponding extra.
How to use the Zoom App- User Tutorial
We have already seen what are the main functionalities of Zoom and its prices? Now is the time to learn how to use the program to get the most out of it.
Create an account
The process of creating an account is the standard. You enter your website, and you register by clicking on the blue button.
It will ask you for an email and a password. Then, you will receive a confirmation email to your inbox. You click on the link and you already have your Zoom account created and verified.
Everything ready to start working.
Control and configuration Panel
Once this is done, it redirects you to a screen where you can start a test meeting or go to your account. We are going to choose this second option.
In your control panel, you have a lot of settings that I explain in the video that you have a little below. You can configure the operation of the tool to your liking.
It is possible that at the beginning you do not know very well whether to mark a box or not. I recommend you to make a simple initial configuration and as you learn to use the program, go back to the settings to see if you need to change something to improve your experience and that of the participants. The same happens with the configuration of the meeting itself.
Let’s see all this in the video tutorial that you have at the end of the article.
Start a Meeting
Now you can start the test meeting to familiarize yourself with the interface and understand how the Zoom works.
To start a meeting, just log on to the web and click on “Host a meeting.” There you can choose if you want to turn on the webcam or just share the screen. Choose what you choose, then you can change it, so do not worry.
You can also start a meeting from the desktop application.
Interface and options of a meeting
When you start a meeting in Zoom you will find its interface. It is quite simple and intuitive but, like everything, it requires a time of learning. I am going to try to accelerate that process by telling you which are the elements that compose it.
Gallery view: it is the visualization mode in which you see all the participants of the meeting. The screen is divided into a maximum of 50 frames in which each person is seen if the webcam is turned on. If not, you see a gray box with your name.
Speaker view: in this mode you only see the speaker or his screen if he has made use of the “screen sharing” function. In the upper part you see some participants in some pretty small boxes.
Microphone: used to turn on and off the audio, as well as to choose the microphone you want to use and to configure it to your liking.
Video: used to turn on and off the video, to choose the webcam you prefer and to set all the settings you want.
Invite: You can invite other people to participate in the meeting through the URL or the ID of the meeting.
Participants: you can see who is inside the meeting and whether or not they have audio and video activated. If you are a host, you can activate or deactivate them at your whim.
Share screen: This is where you can share the screen of your device. It also includes the possibility of activating a virtual whiteboard with which to reinforce your explanations.
Chat: this element allows you to access the chat to communicate through the text with the rest of the participants. The host can choose if members can communicate with each other or if all conversations are visible to other users.
Record: by activating this button you can record the session. You can pause and resume it whenever you want. You can also stop it altogether.
End meeting: here you can end the meeting.
These are the options offered by the Zoom interface, which is further simplified if you click on “Switch to full screen”. The advantage is that you focus more on the speaker, your screen or the other users; the disadvantage, that the rest of the functions (chat, participants) open in a popup window and not on aside.
My recommendation is that in face-to-face meetings you enable the full screen and in full meetings do not do it and you maximize the window so that Zoom occupies the entire screen of your computer, but without losing sight of the chat or the participants.
Join a meeting
We have seen how to start a meeting when you are the host. Now let’s see what you have to do to join a meeting that someone else has created.
To create a meeting it is necessary that you have an account in Zoom and that you install the program or access through the online platform. However, to join a meeting, you do not need to be registered or logged in.
This is a great advantage since you can get in touch with your clients without having to have a profile in Zoom.
You have four ways to join a meeting:
- Through a link without downloading anything: they usually send it to you by email, although they could put it on social networks, websites or any online platform.
- Through a link downloading the program: Same as the previous option, but downloading and running the program on your computer.
- Inserting the ID of the meeting on the web: if they tell you the ID or send you the link, you can put this identifier in the section of the Zoom website that says “Enter a meeting” and that’s it.
- Inserting the ID of the meeting in the desktop application: if you have installed the program on your computer, tablet or smartphone, open it and enter the ID of the meeting.
We carry more than 2,000 words and you may be a bit saturated with so much information. It is great that you know the functionalities of Zoom, but the really important thing is that you learn to use it. That’s why I recorded a very complete video.
There are quite a few on YouTube but they are quite brief, outdated and the vast majority are in English. It is always appreciated to have a tutorial in Spanish. You can visualize it as many times as you want, stop it and go back whenever necessary.